Resisting Brazils Military Regime: An Account of the Battles of Sobral Pinto

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There are very few human rights organizations that have the conditions necessary to maintain a team that accompanies numerous cases, each of which may take more than a decade to be resolved. Such delays therefore contribute to the perpetuation of violative practices. There are also many internal challenges. The first of these relates to the formation of an efficient team of lawyers. Questions of human rights are normally complex, requiring well-trained and experienced professionals. Considering that human rights questions occupy a merely marginal position in the academic curriculum of law schools, when they occupy any space at all, it is very difficult to find young people with the necessary educational background.

The question is still more complex, as a combative lawyer ought to be familiar with not only the area of human rights itself, but also civil and criminal procedure, as well as administrative and constitutional law. This dominion of multiple areas is normally only found in more experienced professionals. In most cases, these professionals have salary requirements that are far greater than what is viable for a human rights organization to pay.

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The problem relates not only to salary, but also to profile. In our recruiting experience, we have found that there are very few young people who not only are engaged in human rights but also dominate its practice and are available to play an advocacy role in a methodical way.

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Worse yet, when these young people become good lawyers, the market attractions for them are enormous. Related to the question of forming a good team is the question of its maintenance. Here there are two elements: one of a financial order and the other of a psychological nature. In the financial field, non-governmental organizations hardly ever receive long-term funding that is compatible with the time that is necessary for lawsuits to be concluded in Brazil.

Donations invariably stick to the logic of projects, lasting one or two years before they must be renewed. Even the most stable foundations require a constant renewal of projects, which, in the legal field, is not necessarily possible or necessary. Foundations that understand the nature of strategic litigation and invest over the long term are quite rare.

In litigation, it is necessary to continue doing the same thing for many years. And, the sluggishness of the courts does not help contribute to the self-sustainability of human rights advocacy projects.

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Above all, the evil personality of those who wanted to climb the academic carries without facing intellectually prepared competitors, but bureaucratically hamstrung. I was advised to stay out of the country for some time to not be pursued ostensibly. The Good Fight is precisely in building utopias. As he was running for chancellor and did not want complications with the dignitaries of the military regime, he opted for my departure from the academic leadership at the Department of Journalism. They were generally viewed with suspicion by the populace as a result.

Any procedural victories which could hypothetically generate money for lawyers, take many years to be executed, and even more so when the defendant of the case is the state. The challenges in good team maintenance, nonetheless, are not limited to a merely financial question. Human rights advocacy, however morally gratifying, is extremely taxing from a psychological perspective.

Daily contact with violence, arbitrariness and the suffering of others ends up jeopardizing the psychological health of young lawyers as well as of other professionals. Furthermore, future harm may destabilize teams that, most of the time, lack the necessary support of outside psychological and security organizations. A third internal problem that we detect along this path and that is common to other organizations that have full teams of lawyers, is the relationship between the legal body and the political body of the organization. Lawyers tend to concentrate on cases, which have urgent deadlines and that require a certain amount of reclusion. Militancy requires constant availability for dialogue with other spokespersons, presence in multiples forums of debate and coordinated actions with different spheres of society, possibly even including the state. In an organization that has two such bodies, it is not uncommon to find that different work logics generate friction.

Sometimes there are lawyers who do not understand the political imperatives of operational actions, and sometimes there are militants who do not value reclusion and the temporal imperatives of cases. One way of seeking to overcome the problems of scarce resources, sustainability and even professional experience, is to seek partnerships, whether in the context of the state agencies of public interest advocacy, or in the practice of pro bono advocacy, or even with other non-governmental organizations. These partnerships are essential, but making them work is a constant challenge.

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Public institutions have their own mechanisms for decision-making, and they form their own agendas, not always being available to attend to the needs of non-governmental organizations. Nonetheless, fostering this dialogue is fundamental. Pro bono advocacy also has an enormous potential. In all of these years, various strategic partnerships were built, but oftentimes the high political tensions involved in a case do not facilitate the entry of pro bono lawyers in human rights litigations. This is exacerbated by the restrictions put in place by the Brazilian Bar Association on the practice of pro bono advocacy.

Greater advantage must also be taken of university partnerships. In spite of these obstacles, there were innumerable achievements in this period that deserve to be highlighted on a balance such as this. This does not deal with narrating future legal victories but rather with reflecting on the way in which these achievements were made and, above all, the way in which litigation had some impact on the field of human rights.

If we use as an example our advocacy geared toward curbing bad practices in the youth prison environment, some positive lines of action can be seized upon. There were three guidelines that we sought to take into consideration. When duly articulated, these guidelines increased our chances of success.

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The first element that warrants distinction is the intimate relation that any human rights advocacy project should have with the direct parties of interest victims or their representatives. It is only from this relationship of trust and respect for victims that lawyers will be able to formulate lawsuits that may be relevant to vulnerable groups. This closeness is essential for ensuring that any victories will also be appropriate for these groups.

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Resisting Brazil's Military Regime: An Account of the Battles of Sobral Pinto [John W. F. Dulles] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Praised by. Resisting Brazil's Military Regime. An Account of the Battles of Sobral Pinto. By John W. F. Dulles. The second and final volume of the definitive biography of one .

This relationship is what will provide political meaning and social backing to the practice of strategic human rights advocacy. A second key element is the relationship with the media. Although the media in Brazil is repeatedly against human rights, the most relevant part of print media and even some of the most relevant television channels devote a large amount of attention to, and coverage of, issues relating to human rights. Systematically informing these media sectors, producing trustworthy material and offering real and representative cases of violative practices, are all essential for obtaining the attention of communication channels.

A third factor that seemed relevant to us in our winning cases was that our actions were carried out systematically, intensely and persistently. Rarely does one succeed in destabilizing a violative practice merely by means of a single lawsuit or court decision. It is necessary to encircle the problems, attack them from many different angles, reduce the spheres of arbitrariness and create channels for participation and intervention so that groups that are willing to improve upon the situation can participate in the process.

Approaching the problem systemically requires a deep understanding of that fact. Whether with regard to the issue of prisons, police violence or discrimination of youth with disabilities from the educational system, before acting it is necessary to comprehend the main bottlenecks, which are the points of perpetuation of the problems, and then attack them from multiple directions.

Strategic advocacy ought to seek to offer alternatives for judges to confront problems. As mentioned above, it is not enough to serve a pleading; rather, it is necessary to create mechanisms that prevent the perpetuation of violative practices. In this same sense, strategic advocacy ought to be perfected, and greatly, with respect to the formulation of claims.

In addition to these three elements that we constantly seek to consider, we also detected institutional opportunities, which, if not well explored, are generally lost. This increase in social participation in the Court certainly impressed upon justices the need to take human rights principles more seriously. The last lesson that we took away from our own small but intense experience with strategic human rights advocacy pertains to the very expectations that we ought to foster when we engage in complicated tasks. Advocacy cannot be seen as a means to resolve problems but rather as a means to expose human rights violations through a different lens, which is frequently neglected in Brazil: the law.

This may seem to be a contradiction; nonetheless, we believe that questions of human rights, when presented merely from a moral, political or even economic perspective, become the object of greater argumentative elasticity, as if certain abusive practices can constantly be the subject of deliberation by the social body. By affirming the perspective of rights and calling upon enforcement institutions to face questions of human rights violations, we can call attention to the imperative nature of the rights that were already the subject of deliberations.

Thus, there is no space to discuss whether torture is legitimate or whether discrimination is part of our culture. By incorporating the principles of human rights, by means of the Constitution and innumerable laws and treaties, society and the Brazilian authorities took on a legal responsibility which may not be systematically relaxed. Human rights are, in this way, understood in their imperative dimension.

This does not negate the complexity of the situation surrounding the systematic violation of human rights, which would require multiple efforts to overcome. The function of litigation is to expose the inadmissibility of violative conduct, aiming to hold perpetrators accountable and, in particular, seeking to open up institutional channels for these practices to be defeated.

Although it is not possible to trace direct causal relationships in this field of knowledge, we have found innumerable indications that the same actions by a small office of strategic advocacy, such as that of Conectas, can indeed contribute to a reduction in the invisibility of violations and the impunity of violators and the perfection of the institutional mechanisms that are geared toward the question of human rights.

This network is still operating today and is responsible for building legal strategies and providing legal assistance to MST throughout Brazil. In the face of great political pressure directed against the Defenders, which included the firing and transfer of NUTH employees, the Defenders withdrew from the activities because they disagreed with the courses of action suggested by the current management. Definition of INAF: Illiteracy — Corresponds to the condition of those who are unable to carry out simple tasks that involve reading words and phrases, even though a portion of such individuals may be able to read familiar numbers telephone numbers, prices, etc.

Rudimentary illiteracy — Corresponds to the capacity to locate an explicit piece of information in short or familiar texts such as a single announcement or a short letter , read and write typical numbers and carry out simple operations, such as handling money for the payment of small amounts or carrying out length measurements using a tape measure. The adolescents described … that they are tied with their hands behind their backs in holding crates, in such a way that they remain on their tippy toes, for long periods of time.

The Internal Affairs Offices are bodies of internal control of public institutions, aimed at investigating failures to act and violations of the law and internal regulations. Febem — State Foundation for the Well-Being of Minors is the public institution responsible for the execution and management of youth prisons. Case Available at: www. Last accessed on: Aug. Pesquisa maiores litigantes. Revista Forense , Rio de Janeiro, p. CANO, I. Oxford: Oxfam International. Texas: University of Texas. Indicador de Alfabetismo Funcional. A greve de Perus nos Tribunais.

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